254th Infantry Regiment- Page 4
(HILL 216 BATTLE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3)
After I Company had cleared from in front of A, K Company moved out eastward along the road. On turning south the company
came under heavy machine gun and mortar fire from below the chateau. Cautiously the unit crossed the minefield as the scream of
shrapnel coupled with the sharp crack of well aimed bullets made the men want to leave the single path being probed through the
mine studded area. With the aid of well place mortar fire, K reached the Weiss River, at its junction with the Fecht. Upon arriving
at this point about 2100, the company deployed west along the bank toward I Company. As K began to dig in, the lack of the
detached platoon was strongly felt. At midnight a group from B Company was inserted between the two Third Battalion
companies.  

The night following our first attack came and suddenly all the death we had seen, the noise we had heard, the fear we had felt
descended on us like an avalanche, leaving us only cold ,wet and exhausted. Our first day of attack was over. Even through our
tiredness we realized that each of us was a wiser man than he had been the day before. We knew that battle was not glorious; we
knew that our minds had been left with an imprint that even time could not fully erase; we knew that we had been through
something that none of us would ever be able to adequately describe.  

That night both I and K Companies were harrassed: I by small arms fire from positions across the river east of the bridge and K
by mortar and machine guns in the woods to the left front. I Company sent a two-squad patrol around its right flank and across
the river. These men found and assaulted six foxholes. K discovered that the mortar fire coming from its front was being directed
from an OP and after placing artillery on this position, the harassment was eliminated. Only one further action remained for the
regiment to complete its mission around Hill 216--that of "mopping up" the west bank of the Fecht River down to its junction with
the Weiss. At 0940 C Company jumped off from its defensive position of the night before to complete this task and to contact the
right flank of the 7th Infantry (3rd Div) just south of the Chateau. As C began moving through the open fields which separated
them from the thin strip of woods on the west bank of the river, heavy fire from machine guns and 88's pinned the company down
about 800 yards from the river. So intense was this fire that it became necessary for friendly artillery to lay smoke. With this cover
the company was able to gain the edge of the narrow strip of woods along the river by 1400. Upon completion of this,we had
accomplished our first offensive mission. The green of our reputation lost another coat of its vanishing brillance. A new feeling of
pride surged through us-a pride born of combat- replacing the cold and the fatigue. Tested in fire, the regiment proved that it could
fight beside the veteran units of the famous Third Division. There was never a day after Hill 216, that our heads did not rise just a
little higher when we said, "I'm from the 254th Infantry."  


Go to 254th Infantry Regiment- Page 5 (The Battle of Jebsheim)
254th Infantry Regimental Crest
Combat Infantryman and Combat Medic Badges
15 Oct 13
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